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Stage 3, New Lump

Forums General Melanoma Community Stage 3, New Lump

  • Post
    MsKage
    Participant

    Hello –

    SNB in April, one positive node.  Underneath the scar from that node, I had recurrent cysts which were repeatedly drained and surgically removed twice. Now there is a new, hard (bone hard) lump in the same place.

    I had an ultrasound yesterday and the report says "highly suggestive of malignancy", nothing else. I am having a PET scan tomorrow.

    Hello –

    SNB in April, one positive node.  Underneath the scar from that node, I had recurrent cysts which were repeatedly drained and surgically removed twice. Now there is a new, hard (bone hard) lump in the same place.

    I had an ultrasound yesterday and the report says "highly suggestive of malignancy", nothing else. I am having a PET scan tomorrow.

    I saw my surgeon today and he suggested that I wait and see what the PET shows.  Obviously, he will remove it if it is clearly suspicious on the PET scan. However, he suggested that if my PET is clean that I just "keep an eye on it".  He said he would be willing to do a needle biopsy if I really want it, but he's pretty sure it's just scar tissue from the multiple surgeries.

    What do you guys think? Is he right about it likely being scar tissue?  Would you take that chance?  Should I demand to have it removed if my PET is clear?  Maybe I should wait to post until I know for sure what the PET shows, but I'm really anxious about this and I am worried that my surgeon is not taking this as seriously as he maybe should (he's not a specialist).  Then again, it's easy to get paranoid about these things….

     

    Thank you in advance for any advice, and thank you for being here to help… this site is an amazing resource.

     

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  • Replies
      MsKage
      Participant

      sorry for the double post, by the way.  i don't know how that happened or how to fix it…if someone else can, please remove my duplicate post. thanks!

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      MsKage
      Participant

      sorry for the double post, by the way.  i don't know how that happened or how to fix it…if someone else can, please remove my duplicate post. thanks!

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      makedoandmend
      Participant

      I have only been dealing with this beast since late august but I have learned a lot from the people on this board and in my opinion you should see a melanoma specialist asap.  At least get a second opinion.  I have read a lot of profiles that said "was told it was scar tissue".  There are a lot of people out there who were told to "keep an eye on it"  I don't think you are being paranoid at all.  Don't underestimate this crafty beast. Get to the best melanoma specialist you can feasibly travel to.  I think its worth it.

      -pat on li

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      makedoandmend
      Participant

      I have only been dealing with this beast since late august but I have learned a lot from the people on this board and in my opinion you should see a melanoma specialist asap.  At least get a second opinion.  I have read a lot of profiles that said "was told it was scar tissue".  There are a lot of people out there who were told to "keep an eye on it"  I don't think you are being paranoid at all.  Don't underestimate this crafty beast. Get to the best melanoma specialist you can feasibly travel to.  I think its worth it.

      -pat on li

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      Jenjen
      Participant

      I would def get a fine needle biopsy. I am stage 3 with a full lymphendectamy and i have had 3 scares in the past year. two were hard bumps, another soft. One turned out to be a seroma, another a vein that had popped out fron surgery, and another scar tissue so try not to worry too much. BUT with each scare, I insisted my onc check them again and again and perform two fnb..it is better to find out and treat it if it is melanoma , plus it will help you sleep at night!

       

      Jejen 3a

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      Jenjen
      Participant

      I would def get a fine needle biopsy. I am stage 3 with a full lymphendectamy and i have had 3 scares in the past year. two were hard bumps, another soft. One turned out to be a seroma, another a vein that had popped out fron surgery, and another scar tissue so try not to worry too much. BUT with each scare, I insisted my onc check them again and again and perform two fnb..it is better to find out and treat it if it is melanoma , plus it will help you sleep at night!

       

      Jejen 3a

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      Jenjen
      Participant

      I would def get a fine needle biopsy. I am stage 3 with a full lymphendectamy and i have had 3 scares in the past year. two were hard bumps, another soft. One turned out to be a seroma, another a vein that had popped out fron surgery, and another scar tissue so try not to worry too much. BUT with each scare, I insisted my onc check them again and again and perform two fnb..it is better to find out and treat it if it is melanoma , plus it will help you sleep at night!

       

      Jejen 3a

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      Jenjen
      Participant

      I would def get a fine needle biopsy. I am stage 3 with a full lymphendectamy and i have had 3 scares in the past year. two were hard bumps, another soft. One turned out to be a seroma, another a vein that had popped out fron surgery, and another scar tissue so try not to worry too much. BUT with each scare, I insisted my onc check them again and again and perform two fnb..it is better to find out and treat it if it is melanoma , plus it will help you sleep at night!

       

      Jejen 3a

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      Sharyn
      Participant

      Hi,

      I'm one of the people who was told it was probably just scar tissue, but my surgeon didn't bother doing a scan. He just went right ahead in the clinic and excised it, and sure enough, it was melanoma. However, since you have a scan tomorrow, I'd wait and see what it shows. But remember, even scar tissue lights up on a PET, so it may give you a false positive. The only way to know for sure is to have it biopsied — either fine needle or excision (I prefer excision because FNAs are not always reliable either). Good luck!

      Hugs

      Sharyn, Stage IV

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      Sharyn
      Participant

      Hi,

      I'm one of the people who was told it was probably just scar tissue, but my surgeon didn't bother doing a scan. He just went right ahead in the clinic and excised it, and sure enough, it was melanoma. However, since you have a scan tomorrow, I'd wait and see what it shows. But remember, even scar tissue lights up on a PET, so it may give you a false positive. The only way to know for sure is to have it biopsied — either fine needle or excision (I prefer excision because FNAs are not always reliable either). Good luck!

      Hugs

      Sharyn, Stage IV

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      Carver
      Participant

      This sounds exactly like happened to me. In my case the PET/CT was suspicious of a recurrent malignancy but my doctor thought it related to the surgery. He gave me the option of surgery or of repeat PET scans. I went with repeat scans and it got smaller after 3 months and on each subsequent scan so it was pretty obvious that it wasn't cancer. I have a lot of scar tissue from the groin dissection and also had a seroma (fluid pocket that hardened). I think you have to do what you are comfortable with. Best of Luck, Carver

      No recurrences since my groin LND 5 years and 8 mo ago.

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      Carver
      Participant

      This sounds exactly like happened to me. In my case the PET/CT was suspicious of a recurrent malignancy but my doctor thought it related to the surgery. He gave me the option of surgery or of repeat PET scans. I went with repeat scans and it got smaller after 3 months and on each subsequent scan so it was pretty obvious that it wasn't cancer. I have a lot of scar tissue from the groin dissection and also had a seroma (fluid pocket that hardened). I think you have to do what you are comfortable with. Best of Luck, Carver

      No recurrences since my groin LND 5 years and 8 mo ago.

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      MsKage
      Participant

      Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive advice!  From what you guys have said and what my gut tells me, I think it is important to at least get the needle biopsy.  At the same time, though, I am much less freaked out knowing that it could very well be scar tissue.

      I just had the PET scan… man, I forgot how long those things are! And that table is so hard after a couple hours of laying on it :)  Small price to pay, I know I shouldn't complain.  I will update the thread when I get results.  Thank you all again! I wish the best for everyone here.

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      MsKage
      Participant

      Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive advice!  From what you guys have said and what my gut tells me, I think it is important to at least get the needle biopsy.  At the same time, though, I am much less freaked out knowing that it could very well be scar tissue.

      I just had the PET scan… man, I forgot how long those things are! And that table is so hard after a couple hours of laying on it :)  Small price to pay, I know I shouldn't complain.  I will update the thread when I get results.  Thank you all again! I wish the best for everyone here.

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        ShariC
        Participant

        I have the same thing, hard lump just under (and in) the scar from my axillary dissection.  It DID "light up" on the PET scan but my surgeon thought it might be scar activity.  She did an immediate biopsy.  Its another tumor.  Just at the site of the surgery.  I'm heading into BioChem on Monday.  I would get a confirmation – for sure! – Shari

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        ShariC
        Participant

        I have the same thing, hard lump just under (and in) the scar from my axillary dissection.  It DID "light up" on the PET scan but my surgeon thought it might be scar activity.  She did an immediate biopsy.  Its another tumor.  Just at the site of the surgery.  I'm heading into BioChem on Monday.  I would get a confirmation – for sure! – Shari

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      MsKage
      Participant

      Update – Doctor called Friday evening to let me know that my PET showed activity in the lump as well as multiple "spots in the chest".  I'll get a copy of the report today and a needle biopsy of the lump.

      What are the chances that these are not melanoma?  I haven't had any kind of infection or scar tissue in my chest… PET 6 months ago was clear.

      Is the needle biopsy a good place to start?  If they are malignant, does this make me stage 4?  Where do I even begin?  I'm only 25.

      Thank you all again. 

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        Jim in Denver
        Participant

        You are getting some good feedback here, and clearly you are very anxious, which is very understandable.  There is good information and feedback on this board from others who have understanding and empathy.  IMO, if the biopsy shows melanoma, you should find a specialist.  Your profile seems to indicate you are in Alaska – correct?  If so, you might start by finding out if  there is a Melanoma Specialist (not just an Oncologist) in Anchorage you can see.  You also might want to consider eventual travel to the Lower 48 for consultation and/or treatment.  Try to channel your energy into coming up with a plan, if your biopsy is positive.  I found out I was Stage IV last March and have gone down that road myself.  There is hope and good treatments are available.

        Best Wishes,

        Jim

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        Jim in Denver
        Participant

        You are getting some good feedback here, and clearly you are very anxious, which is very understandable.  There is good information and feedback on this board from others who have understanding and empathy.  IMO, if the biopsy shows melanoma, you should find a specialist.  Your profile seems to indicate you are in Alaska – correct?  If so, you might start by finding out if  there is a Melanoma Specialist (not just an Oncologist) in Anchorage you can see.  You also might want to consider eventual travel to the Lower 48 for consultation and/or treatment.  Try to channel your energy into coming up with a plan, if your biopsy is positive.  I found out I was Stage IV last March and have gone down that road myself.  There is hope and good treatments are available.

        Best Wishes,

        Jim

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      MsKage
      Participant

      Update – Doctor called Friday evening to let me know that my PET showed activity in the lump as well as multiple "spots in the chest".  I'll get a copy of the report today and a needle biopsy of the lump.

      What are the chances that these are not melanoma?  I haven't had any kind of infection or scar tissue in my chest… PET 6 months ago was clear.

      Is the needle biopsy a good place to start?  If they are malignant, does this make me stage 4?  Where do I even begin?  I'm only 25.

      Thank you all again. 

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      dima
      Participant

      Hi

      My father has melanoma on his leg. After first PET CT scan the oncologist (professor!) told us it was clean and I saw the scan picture, it was clean of cancer, but the ortho-oncologist (professor too) found (by hand) bigger than usual node in groin. The biopsy showed cancer in that node… This doctor said that sometimes there is possibility that PET CT scan can't "see" cancer lymph nodes that very small or something like that. I am not a specialist, I just want to say that not every check is 100% right and that not all the doctors knows everything. Just like in every profession – there are many doctors that are not good professionals. Sorry for my english, i'm not from US.

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      dima
      Participant

      Hi

      My father has melanoma on his leg. After first PET CT scan the oncologist (professor!) told us it was clean and I saw the scan picture, it was clean of cancer, but the ortho-oncologist (professor too) found (by hand) bigger than usual node in groin. The biopsy showed cancer in that node… This doctor said that sometimes there is possibility that PET CT scan can't "see" cancer lymph nodes that very small or something like that. I am not a specialist, I just want to say that not every check is 100% right and that not all the doctors knows everything. Just like in every profession – there are many doctors that are not good professionals. Sorry for my english, i'm not from US.

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